Medical Education and Leadership Development Project (MELD)
Over the past two years, the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University (AMS) has developed a relationship with St. Damien Hospital in Tabarre, Haiti (outside of Port-au-Prince), to collaborate on developing a pediatric medical education curriculum for Haitian medical students. The collaboration, called the Medical Education and Leadership Development (MELD) Project, aims to address the unmet need of providing domestic pediatric clinical rotations to Haitian medical students.
Students at Haiti's private medical schools spend, on average, 10 percent of their week in a clinical setting. The paucity of clinical opportunities is secondary to damage of area hospitals by the January 12 earthquake and the large volume of patients that Haitian clinicians must care for, thereby limiting their time for clinical teaching. An indirect goal of MELD is to mitigate the ongoing brain drain of health care providers in Haiti through an in-country experience with AMS faculty and exposure to opportunities in the field. In turn this will lead to capacity building of pediatric providers in Haiti.
MELD endeavors to develop a sustainable partnership that specifically addresses the needs perceived by the Haitian medical community. To help attain this goal, MELD aims to hire a Haitian program director whose primary responsibility will be development of a pediatric medical education curriculum and in-country coordination in partnership with AMS faculty.
A small group of AMS faculty (Drs. Susan Cu-Uvin, Timothy Flanigan, Sybil Cineas, and Michael Koster) visited St. Damien Hospital and medical facilities in the greater Port-au-Prince area in March 2010. They developed a memorandum of understanding with St. Damien Hospital and the University of Notre Dame d' Haiti to begin moving toward collaboration on an academic pediatric clinical rotation. Drs. Koster and Elizabeth Dawson-Hahn returned to Haiti in May 2010 in order to understand which of the varied clinical environments and ongoing programs at St. Damien Hospital would lend themselves to bedside teaching, community health projects, and lecture topics.
This project provides a unique opportunity for the departments of pediatrics, medicine, family medicine, and community health to develop a dynamic and multidisciplinary educational program in Pediatrics at St. Damien Hospital. The Haitian Project is a key in-country collaborator. Ongoing discussions between St. Damien, University of Notre Dame d' Haiti, and Alpert Medical School are heading toward the establishment of a rotation for the spring of 2011.